Mobile broadband modems and embedded cellular PCs are expected to see a significant sales uptick starting this year, thanks to the widespread emergence of LTE, replacement of USB mobile hotspot modems with cellular routers and strong emerging market demand, according to a new report.
Strategy Analytics is predicting the market rebound, despite an 8 percent year-on-year decline in 2012. "Annual sales of mobile cellular broadband modems and embedded cellular PCs will rebound and grow to 250 million units by 2018, with LTE increasing by 187 million units between from 2012 and 2018," said the firm.
Mobile broadband modem annual sales. (Source: Strategy Analytics)
The recent recession led to the slowdown in sales of mobile broadband modems because discretionary spending tended to favor smartphones and bolt-on plans for tethering, or else spending was withheld altogether, said Andrew Brown, executive director of Enterprise Research at Strategy Analytics and author of the report.
"Nevertheless, the increasing dependence on persistent and ubiquitous connectivity, coupled with the widespread emergence of high-speed LTE networks, the multi-purpose nature of cellular hotspot routers that can connect up to eight consumer electronics devices via Wi-Fi and the opportunities in developed and emerging market means there is plenty of life left in the mobile broadband devices market," Brown added.
Strategy Analytics noted that Chinese vendors Huawei and ZTE are the market leaders in mobile broadband modems.
- see this Strategy Analytics release
Chetan Sharma: Mobile data to represent 50% of all service revenues by year-end
eMarketer: U.S. adults spend 2.5 hours a day on non-voice mobile activities
U.S. smartphone users spend around 300 MB per month on Facebook, report shows
AT&T leads the (still small) cellular tablet market with 49% share
Tablets to generate $20B for wireless operators in 2017, firm predicts
Broadcom challenges Qualcomm, Samsung in LTE modem market